Vassa In The Night

Something about this book clicked with me, took me on a wild ride and did make my mind go all the way in trying to make sense of what was happening.

And well, I did like the Russian folklores even if I have almost no idea of what any of them tell. But definitely, loved the story here. The way that it managed to make me interested in Vassa and her journey, and all the mysteries around. Something is rather wrong here and it definitely starts to escalate even more slowly. Even though I’m still not entirely sure what just happened. But really, the tale is quite dark, and happens to be quite weird too.

Somehow, I just liked the way things went. Something here is horribly wrong, such as how night is getting longer and longer. All the while Vassa gets into all sorts of trouble. Even though this was probably a pretty weird story, where I just enjoyed the ride. But it won’t be for everyone.

To me, this is magical realism at its best. At least when I feel I can be taken for a ride, and have absolutely no idea what is going on yet thoroughly enjoy it. And well, the way that it is written definitely would be confusing to many. Somehow it just worked with me. Something just clicked with me when it came to this book, and something just worked too.

Ending it off, I really have no idea how I should recommend this book. It is enjoyable, even without having much idea what is going on. But can be incredibly frustrating to some, and well like I said, it will go down to whether you would instead like a story where there is plenty of weirdness and bizarre moments. And also, moments that you probably have to reread to get sense of it, or really have little idea till the end. Strangely, I enjoyed the tale. That is all

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Heartless

I loved this book. Whether it was just an origin story of the Queen Of Hearts, or whether it brought me back to Wonderland together with a new character. And one that I so immensely liked.

For such a long time, I was really feeling agony for Catherine. She didn’t choose to be like that. She simply wanted to open a bakery, marry and hope that her parents would agree. In which they were just bloody clueless parents who ended up screwing their own daughter(I really wished I could see when they started to realise that if they just approved, she wouldn’t have ended up being the Queen Of Hearts.) And that is a tragic end, the one where I really hoped Catherine would have managed to convince them. But she didn’t, and they weren’t interested in her. And well, that is where just makes me want to have them realise that they were the reason why Catherine became the Queen of Hearts as we knew of today. And this is where I believe that it is the saddest part of the book, knowing that there were so many ways this could have turned out right but never did.

Catherine is never a heroine we should be rooting for, she is a little too passive I would say. She dreams and dreams, she wants but doesn’t fight for it. Yet, there was some charm about her. Slowly, towards the end, where she becomes what we knew of her. I could relate her. And for some reason, I absolutely liked her, loved her even. When her story was a downward spiral, I guess I would always find some way to love them. Once again, Meyer had managed to do it. Except that it is a lot darker than The Lunar Chronicles. And who the person she was at the end, just as what I thought she would be. The ending line was perfection.

As for the world, this is Wonderland. There isn’t much of anything else we need to do. I loved the way that it was handled, and the way that it introduced so much. Be it the Mad Hatter, or Jest. I really like them all. This book is where we see where they would become and eventually end, why there isn’t another character.

I did love a great deal of female friendships here. Even if it is rather rocky like how everything serves a purpose. Like Mary Ann who was her supporter, but also has a great deal of problems. Of Margaret, and her unattractiveness and self righteousness. Something about them just clicked.

As for interesting characters, Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat and Jest. They were my absolute favourite and their interactions have always lightened up the mood when I really needed it. And especially do give some very interesting dialogue, one which will be memorable for a long time.

If I would to say whether this retelling is like any other, consider this. It is like Maleficent, a book about the origin story of a villain, and one that no one can ever forget. And one that doesn’t serve to disappoint. It makes enough references to the original story, but it is the story of the Queen Of Hearts. And I guess this is where I will always like her retellings, they contain enough references to make it work yet be so completely different. And this is exactly the same.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Hunted

This puts a spin onto what we knew as Beauty and the Beast. There are some moments where it resembles it and some moments where it won’t (there isn’t a character who will kill the Beast). And I enjoy this Russian inspired retelling of it, not a carbon copy but keeps familiar scenes of it. And unlike Belle, Yeva does not have any chance to be found in gorgeous clothing.

Yeva, in the beginning craves for the Forest. And when she does get it, it is when her father loses all his money on a trade caravan. And most importantly, all of her sisters are not happy, but they deal with this loss resolutely and quickly try to sell their possessions for as high a price as possible. Do I welcome this change? Yes.

And that Solmir(the parallel of Gaston), isn’t horrible and a pretty nice guy. And does wait for her, as well as willing to marry her, and his ending is one that I think will be happy. He does deserve it since he’s not a jerk unlike the Disney version.

As for both her sisters, they are relatively important. They do what is necessary and doesn’t give up hope, but I can’t really figure anything out other than this.

As for the way the romance was, it is slow, and their instances are more realistic than any other. I could feel their slow romance and their interactions were indeed different from the original but I greatly prefer it too. Yeva isn’t someone who needs saving, and she depends on no one other than herself and is a trained hunter. It was refreshing as compared to it, and the spin and liberties are all the more interesting.

Instead of a beast who was too in love with himself, it is a man who eventually lost sight who didn’t know what he wanted and eventually searched for it continuously. Eventually falling to desires, and the whole basis of this goes down to Russian myths. Which I’m sorry unaware of. But in such a setting, it makes sense to do so.

As for the ending, it doesn’t answer much questions. It’s more open and like an ending to a folk tale instead of a happily ever after, short and distant. But enough to surmise their romance and story together.

Rating: 4 out of 5′

Given To The Sea

I can’t even be bothered to remember who was in this book. None of the narrators are even the least bit interesting and so many are obsessed with getting Khosa pregnant so you know she can drown as a sacrifice. And even that doesn’t sound as depressing as it should, I don’t even know what is wrong with that world.

And that Khosa although I do think that being raised to think of this would have resulted in her being like this. But I never thought that it was too off, but what made it so incredibly off in my eyes. Was that she is bland as hell and doesn’t even bother trying to find anything out or even try to fulfill her destiny; you would think that being raised in such an environment would make her more willing to do what it takes. Not end up waiting for the one whose touch she can stand. Yeah, and all the other characters were almost just as bland but not as lacking in activeness as compared to Khosa.

There were four narrators; as for the complicated romance why do I even bother. As for the world, where the heck is it, and why the heck is it so twisted? And also, it is confusing, utterly pointless and too many things introduced in one time. To the point it overlaods me and I have nothing but a burning hatred for this book.

Vincent is the prince, or whatever. I didn’t find him interesting. Khosa is as lifeless and emotionless as she is in the book, and having zero ounce of personality. As for the three other narrators, why the hell are they there in the first place. None of them seemed to even make me wonder what this story was about and I found myself skimming most of the pages.

In other words, if you want a mermaid book or one about the sea, don’t look at this one.

Rating: 1 out of 5

Splintered

This was quite a joy to read. It does definitely feel like a tale of Alice In Wonderland with plenty of spins and being carefully plotted, enough that it uses the old Wonderland but it’s different. Darker even.

And well, at least Alyssa is sensible enough to know what she is doing. Why she gets there is for perfectly good reasons, if you ask me. Since she doesn’t want her mother to be put on electrotherapy. Certainly a good reason. And she isn’t an idiot, she only has Alice In Wonderland to help her and the things she does figure out are pretty awesome.


Although the way the mental illness was dealt, it would have been less using straitjackets. It would have been a lot more counselling, perhaps even hynosis. I do not see a straightjacket, and sometimes mentally ill patients aren’t even commited. They are mostly allowed to stay at home, just as long as they visit the doctor’s regularly. And her case definitely seemed manageable, especially when it’s faked.

As for the love triangle here. I ship none of them. Both lies her, one is a knight in shining armour, he is basically that. And the other, is a manipulative bastard in his own right. What can I say? She deserves better.

The world building was the drawing point, as well as the writing. It seems that I am always a sucker for lyrical writing and writing that is simple but beautiful. And I can read it easily. And when it used Wonderland, I certainly saw a lot influences and really liked it. It is darker, but when it happened to Alice it was a lot more of coincidence, but to Alyssa, she was outright finding it.

I do recommend this book fro being different from the usual retelling, it is much more than that. It follows into the modern times, where there is a possible curse. And revealing the plot twist, the way it went and when it was. I enjoyed it. I didn’t see it coming.

However, there are undeniable issues here. Such as the problem of the way both Jeb and Morpheus really need to learn how to be civilized people, Jeb to lose his knight in shining armour attitude. But overall, I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it.

Rating: 3 out of 5

A Court Of Mist And Fury

I have almost no hopes for this author. Especially since Queen of Shadows and I dnf Empire of Storms and A Court Of Thorns and Roses. And it didn’t disappoint. In the completely wrong way.

I still cannot even try to read the book, at best skim and some parts I read. But I just couldn’t find myself in it anymore. Why do I care about all these characters? I barely knew them. I barely knew every one of them.

I was only a quarter into A Court Of Thorns and Roses, and here I give up. There is virtually nothing attracting me to the series anymore, and I find myself scratching my head as to what was I reading. Other times, I could barely even bear to read it. Whether it is about them having sex, or the Fae or whatsoever. I don’t give a damn about any of them.

Because this work simply failed to pull me into it. And that’s all I have to say about it. Nothing about Feyre or Rhysand, nothing about their characters at all. Their romance was flat, what did I care to know what Rhysand gave her. There wasn’t really any tension. I was waiting for Tamlin to just appear way earlier and try different methods.

And in one of the chapters all of a sudden without warning I was reading about Rhysand. That just feels so strange. That just feels so weird. All of a sudden a change without really any clear indication at all. And there was nothing distinct about his voice, you could not even tell the difference should you compare.

I used to love Maas and held high hopes for her work. But with each disappointment, I think it has more to do with the time she is allocated to editing. I mean, she is releasing two huge books at the time without much time for her to edit. And really, I heard that the next book in throne of glass was written in a little over a week. I really don’t have any hopes that it would be decent in any way possible.

And now with this, I think I would be avoiding her for a while. A long good while. With this book, I give up on the series too. One book earlier than most since I can’t even find guilty pleasure.

Rating: 1 out of 5

RoseBlood

This was a surprise of a book. Once I picked this up, strangely Rune became a very interesting character to read through. Since her gift is also her crutch at the same time, the only reason why she was accepted with a deeper meaning revealed towards the end. And the explanation regarding her entire background, felt so historical and at the same time interesting. 

While this retelling plays around with a phantom hundred of years after, which I greatly liked. Since it deals with all the creepy weird things which to me worked perfectly here. And that Thorn is mysterious, twisted but mysterious. And that I liked that the romance went slow, to them slowly meeting, slowly figuring everything out about them. And all the clues. Since I wouldn’t see them meeting under normal circumstances, 

As for the actual phantom and what he did, such as having Christine for a short period. Actually liking the way it went, where everything didn’t end well for them. And it drove him into further obsession, which I liked the way it was. Even pushing him to get Thorn. 

As for the musical inclination, any book would have gotten into me with just that. It just feels so right, and when her gift both suffocates and glorifies her at the same time. I really enjoyed it, the way that there was so much of exploration of opera. Of music and of her talent. As for the reveal towards the end, I feel that it was rather fitting to have regarding her talents. 

Even more so, her doubts are completely believable. The way that she her father died, the way she nearly killed someone. That was believable in my account that she would stop playing. 

However, I do feel that the issues of this book lies on the fact that his mother feels as though she’s a sex worker just because she had a child out of wedlock. That’s just wrong, really. It feels off. While the romance was on point, and the atmosphere captured me, this just doesn’t sound good at all. Also, where Erik takes him to the whorehouse and forces him to do all that. Yeah, I feel that it’s wrong too. 

Overall, I would say this book is creepy and rather gothic. Precisely the retelling of the Phantom of the Opera I was looking for, but there are issues that cannot be ignored. I would say that the romance captivated me, and the music was the one thing that kept me reading. So, pick it up and just see it for yourself. 

Rating: 3 out of 5